An unauthorised drone cut short a Silver Falcon aerobatic display at the Rand Show in Johannesburg on Friday, website Netwerk24 reported.
A man launched his drone to take aerial photos while the South African Air Force’s Silver Falcon team was busy with its routine above the Nasrec showgrounds.
Air show commentator Brian Emmenis said he immediately requested the person flying the drone to land it.
Emmenis said the Silver Falcons ended the display shortly afterwards, while the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had been informed about the incident.
It is illegal to fly such a device without authorisation. The drone was reportedly flying higher than 60m.
A member of the Silver Falcon team told Netwerk24 such a device could endanger lives if it collided with a plane.
“The Silver Falcons fly at approximately 500km/h. Besides causing damage to the plane it, the debris could hit people. The plane could even crash,” the source said.
Show director Pula Dippenaar said organisers were aware of the incident.
“The Silver Falcons were already busy with their display when the drone was spotted above the trees,” Dippenaar said.
“The air show programme was delayed until the drone operator was found. The incident was in the hands of the relevant authorities for investigation,” she said.
“We are aware that drones are used for photography and we will keep this in mind for future accreditation,” Dippenaar said. — News24